The following comment can also be read in the preferred language of the reader. The translation is made by computer. Please forgive errors.
Richard Strauss was a misunderstood genius.
Long after his death, he was still being labeled a banal composer of program music
...whatever that is...all music has a program...a Bach fugue has a palpable one...
as do the Sarabandes, Gigues, Gavottes.
In retrospect, the flak aimed at Richard Strauss was envy-generated.
He was immensely successful in his day.
True Genius was supposed to go by unnoticed, to be recognized only after death...preferably of starvation in a garret.
The Alpine Symphony lists the following sections:
- 1. Nacht (Night)
- 2. Sonnenaufgang (Sunrise)
- 3. Der Anstieg (The Ascent)
- 4. Eintritt in den Wald (Entry into the Forest)
- 5. Wanderung neben dem Bache (Wandering by the Brook)
- 6. Am Wasserfall (At the Waterfall)
- 7. Erscheinung (Apparition)
- 8. Auf blumigen Wiesen (On Flowering Meadows)
- 9. Auf der Alm (On the Alpine Pasture)
- 10. Durch Dickicht und Gestrüpp auf Irrwegen (Through Thickets and Undergrowth on the Wrong Path)
- 11. Auf dem Gletscher (On the Glacier)
- 12. Gefahrvolle Augenblicke (Dangerous Moments)
- 13. Auf dem Gipfel (On the Summit)
- 14. Vision (Vision)
- 15. Nebel steigen auf (Mists Rise)
- 16. Die Sonne verdüstert sich allmählich (The Sun Gradually Becomes Obscured)
- 17. Elegie (Elegy)
- 18. Stille vor dem Sturm (Calm Before the Storm)
- 19. Gewitter und Sturm, Abstieg (Thunder and Tempest, Descent)
- 20. Sonnenuntergang (Sunset)
- 21. Ausklang (Quiet Settles)
- 22. Nacht (Night)
Note that the first and last sections carry the same title.
During the Day in between...Eternity...we relive space-time, where the chimera of measured time fades away.
Last weekend (November 30 and December 1), in Dortmund's superb concert hall,
the Munich Philharmonic and I offered a mini R. Strauss retrospective in two concerts...
Don Quixote, Till Eulenspiegel. Rosenkavalier Suite, Metamorphosen and the Alpine Symphony.
Forget the descriptions....if ever there was music of the spirit, it's to be found in the Alpine Symphony.
Unleashed proto-visions, atavistic dreams, howls and joys from the collective soul of all humanity.
I felt as if I was hearing the work as if I had never before performed it,
a privileged viewing of the topography of Man's inner cosmos.
Thank you, Master Strauss
You feast at the table of the Elected Few.
- Lorin Maazel